Let your taste drive you, not kill you

“All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. And the thing I would say to you with all my heart…if you’re going through this phase, it’s totally normal, and the most important possible thing you could do is do a lot of work, a huge volume of work…It’s only by going through a volume of work that you’re going to catch up and close that gap.” — Ira Glass (via kottke.org)

Writers need structure

“[For writers], freedom can be our worst enemy. It can lead to paralysis, procrastination, aimlessness, or indecision. And especially for writers who are just starting out, the principles still need to be learned. While we may need room to experiment and explore, we also need meaningful practice and a way of measuring progress.” — Jane Friedman

A Game Changer?

“Amazon on Wednesday announced that later this year it will launch the Kindle Lending Library, a feature that will allow Kindle customers to borrow books from 11,000 libraries across the United States… Once the feature launches, customers will be able to borrow Kindle e-books from their local libraries and start reading them instantly.” — Macworld, writing about a press release that could change the entire game of ebooks: why buy when you can borrow, over and over and over again?

Give your writing the gift of time

“[Hemingway] knew that a book or short story had its own timetable, and he didn’t try to force it. If a project needed weeks, months or years in the editing and rewriting phase, that’s what he gave it. Despite the same anxiety for publication that all writers share, he still gave his books the time they needed to develop. ” — Rachelle Gardner, on things writers can learn from Hemingway

The Mess in the Middle

“This always happens in the same place,…in the middle of the book. ‘What was it you wanted me to do?’ seems to be the question my characters ask, and when I tell them, they become skeptical. Since I trust characters over plot every time, I tend to listen when a character tells me ‘I wouldn’t do that kind of thing.’ And the middle of the book is always where they seem to doubt their motivation. There’s a name for this. It’s called the mess in the middle.” — Brunonia Barry, putting a name to the thing we’ve all experienced.